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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    LUCAS URGES UPGRADES TO GOOGLE SATELLITE IMAGES

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    LUCAS URGES UPGRADES TO GOOGLE SATELLITE IMAGES

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas has written to the US internet giant Google urging it to update its satellite imagery of Queensland, which is years out of date.

    Mr Lucas said satellite photos of Queensland used on the popular Google Maps website had not been updated for years and may have people thinking they’d been caught in an infrastructure delivery time-warp.

    “We’re building infrastructure in Queensland so fast that not even an internet giant like Google can keep up,” Mr Lucas said.

    “Google is often associated with cutting edge internet services but when it comes to growth in Queensland, they’re behind the times. Some of the images used on Google Maps are up to three years old.

    “It’s a great site, which is user-friendly and offers lots of functionality. But if you believe your eyes when you look at the site you’d think our big infrastructure projects – worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars – had simply fallen off the face of the Earth.

    “Queenslanders searching for the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) would find it under construction, when in fact it opened in 2006, and has already hosted blockbuster exhibitions in the Asia Pacific Triennial and Andy Warhol.

    “It is currently hosting Picasso and His Collection – an Australian first and a Brisbane exclusive that attracted its 50,000th visitor more than a week ago.

    “People looking at the Townsville Ring Road would think work on the first stage was still underway when the Douglas Arterial stretch was completed and opened in mid 2005.

    “If you were looking for the Gold Coast Desalination Plant you would think the site remains an empty paddock, but the project is now almost 75% complete. The Gold Coast Desalination Plant is a key part of Queensland’s $9 billion water grid to drought proof the South East.

    “Anyone searching for the Tugun Bypass would think that only limited work has occurred, but already more than 1 million vehicles have used this new road after its first month of operation. Reports are flooding in of a mini real estate boom on the southern Gold Coast and northern NSW thanks to the bypass.

    “Queenslanders searching for the Gateway Bridge would find no work undertaken for the duplication – but the $1.9 billion bridge duplication and upgrade to 20km of road is going gangbusters.”

    Mr Lucas said an update was all the more pressing given the increasing popularity of internet-capable 3G mobile phones.

    “People are throwing out their street directories because they can replace them with a 3G or wireless-capable mobile like the iPhone that provides real-time information on the go,” Mr Lucas said.

    “But people should be aware that not all of the information is as up-to-date as it should be.

    “I think people would accept satellite photos that are six months or so behind – especially given it’s a free service – but not satellite photos that are two years or more old.”

    Mr Lucas today wrote to Google Inc Chairman and CEO Dr Eric Schmidt asking that satellite imagery of Queensland used on Google Maps be updated more regularly.

    “People are becoming more reliant on internet services that companies like Google provide,” Mr Lucas said.

    “But in the twenty-first century the information economy requires information that isn’t years out of date.”

    Mr Lucas said updated information would be very useful to the large number of people relocating to Queensland every year.

    “With around 70,000 people moving to Queensland from interstate and overseas last year many of them would be using services like Google Maps to check out potential new neighbourhoods to live in,” Mr Lucas said.

    “Thanks to our great lifestyle and booming economy we’ve now got a net brain gain when it comes to population growth not a brain drain. And those well-educated, internet-savvy workers would be expecting to have more up-to-date information at their fingertips.”

    Media inquiries: Robert Hoge 0419 757 868, Matt Klar 0437 435 223